Friday's matchup between the Chesapeake Panthers and the Fairland Dragons takes place between two teams that, as of now, most likely will not earn postseason bids. Currently, the Panthers and the Dragons are projected to finish 11th and 12th in their respective regional playoff standings. Chesapeake enters the week as a 1-point favorite and will look to expand their playoff chances with a victory on Friday. In this evenly-matched a game, there is no way to tell who will come out on top. The teams are no strangers to one another, playing against each other in each of the last five years. Over their last 5 matchups, the Panthers have been superior, coming out on top in 3 of them. However, the past won't matter come kickoff. In the most recent season's matchup, the Dragons proved superior, winning 30-26.
Last week, Chesapeake dropped a game 28-22 against the Rock Hill Redmen. They'll look to get in the win column this week as they hope to finish out the season on a positive note. The Panthers have struggled on offense, scoring only 20.75 points per game over their last 4 games. On the year, they rank 44th in Division 5, scoring an average of 28.9 points per game over the course of the season. On defense, they'll also be looking for improvement, which they have shown signs of in recent weeks. Over their last 2 games, they've allowed an average of 27.5 points, an improvement over their 89th-ranked season average of 33.9.
Fairland tallied up a 27-12 win against the Dawson-Bryant Hornets last week, bringing their record to 5-4 - they'll look to add to the win column once again on Friday. The Dragons offense hasn't been particularly great this season in terms of point production, a trend which continues into recent weeks. Over their last 2 games, they've scored an average of 19.5 points - this season they've averaged 25.7, which ranks 56th in Division 5. Their defense, while not a top defense in Division 5, has shown signs of improvement. They currently rank 43rd in the division with 22 points allowed per game, but have allowed an improved average of 15 points over their last 3 games.
Prediction: Chesapeake to win (77.01% chance of victory)